How Long Does Coconut Milk Last? (9 Ways To Tell)

Image Credit: Marco Verch via Flickr

Coconut milk can be consumed as a milk substitute and is excellent for baking. In addition, it goes great in soup, smoothie, and Thai curry recipes. For people who do not drink dairy milk, this is the perfect substitute as it is lactose-free.

An essential factor you must know about non-dairy coconut milk is that it lasts longer than dairy. However, Coconut milk does have an expiration date once opened. Therefore, the milk should be used within a week after it’s opened.

How Long Does Coconut Milk Last?

Once you open a can or a carton of coconut milk, it will only last a short period if not refrigerated. It will last 7 to 10 days once opened if you keep it refrigerated.

Does Coconut Milk go Bad?

Yes, coconut milk does go bad. You can tell the milk has gone bad by the smell and sour taste. You may not know it has gone bad until you put it in food. You will definitely know the coconut milk has gone bad when you taste it. It will be sour and may even give your food a bad smell.

Always check the coconut milk’s expiration date before using it. Opened coconut milk must be stored in the refrigerator and be covered well, or it will expire within a week, or you can freeze it in ice cube trays or a container.

How Can You Tell if Coconut Milk Has Gone Bad?

Signs your coconut milk has gone bad is an easy question to answer. All of the signs below will let you know for sure.

  • The liquid is dark in color.
  • It expired weeks ago.
  • The container wasn’t sealed properly or securely. 
  • The coconut milk carton wasn’t closed in the refrigerator.
  • It smells bad.
  • Tastes bad
  • Has pink mold growing in it
  • It has chunks in it, indicating it is sour.
  • It makes you sick if you consume it.

How Long Does Coconut Milk Last Out of the Fridge?

Once you open a can or a carton of coconut milk, it will only last a short period if not refrigerated. It will last 7 to 10 days once opened if you keep it refrigerated.

You will know the milk is bad by the smell. Another sign of spoiled coconut milk is its dark color. There is no coconut milk shelf life for sitting on the counter opened.

How to Store Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is sold in cans, a carton, or coconut powder in a bag. Coconut milk tends to be on the thick side, so while it can be drunk as a beverage, most people shy away from drinking it because its flavor isn’t as good as you think it would be, and use it in recipes it goes excellent in baked goods and other recipes.

There are several ways to store coconut milk. While it has a longer shelf life than dairy milk, it will go bad, spoil, and may even grow mold or become rancid it is not stored correctly.

How to Store Unopened Carton and Canned Coconut milk

Canned coconut milk does have a shelf life of two to five years. Of course, check and make sure the milk hasn’t spoiled before using it in your recipes. Always store unopened canned coconut milk in a pantry or an area with low humidity that is dark and cool. Humidity promotes mold growth.

You can also put the unopened carton or can of coconut milk in the refrigerator. It can be stored there until you’re ready to use it in your favorite recipes or food. Canned coconut milk must be properly stored to prevent it from becoming spoiled.

How to Store Opened Cans/Carton of Coconut Milk

If you’re using coconut milk powder from a bag, be sure to keep the bag sealed tight or place it in a container. Liquid coconut milk that has been opened can be stored in a few ways. Let’s look at some storage tips for the fridge below.

  • Close the carton well; you can even place a piece of heavy-duty tape over the top to ensure it remains closed and doesn’t open up and spoil in the fridge.
  • Pour the remainder of the coconut milk into storage containers and play in the freezer or ice cube trays. It doesn’t take very long for frozen coconut milk to unthaw, especially if they are in ice cube trays. The shelf life for coconut milk in the freezer is up to two to three months before you would need to discard the milk. Be sure to write the date on the container, so you know how long to keep the container in the freezer.
  • Don’t wait to store your coconut milk. Do it soon after opening or using it.

Don’t be brave and try to use coconut milk after the recommended refrigerated or freezing time. That’s the best way to ruin your recipes and make your food taste awful, and it may even make you a little sick.

How Do You Store Coconut Milk for a Long Time?

There are a few ways you can keep coconut milk for a long time for both unopened and opened milk.

Deep Freezer

If the coconut milk is placed in a sealed container unopened and put in a deep freezer with a temperature of at least zero degrees, it should last up to five years. If the coconut milk has been opened, you can remove it from the refrigerator, place it in an air-tight container, and then in a sealed storage container. It should last at least a year. When freezing opened coconut milk, you may want to divide the milk into smaller portions, so you don’t have a lot of waste when using the coconut milk.

Pantry or Cellar

The best way to keep unopened coconut milk is in a room temperature, low humidity pantry, or an area that provides the above such as the cellar. If you have an old fridge that no longer works, this is an ideal place to put the coconut milk in the cellar. It’s not likely to attract any insects or other little critters, and even if it does, they won’t be able to get to the milk as it will be hidden away behind the door.

Coconut Milk Uses

Coconut milk is used for cooking and baking. There are lots of delicious foods that call coconut milk.

Recipe ideas are endless, and coconut milk is an excellent substitute for vegan dishes and those who are lactose intolerant.

Recipe Ideas

  • It can be added to coffee, a golden latte, or a pina colada, giving them a nice creamy texture and flavorful taste.
  • Any baked good that includes coconut, such as coconut pie, cake, or flan
  • Coconut milk is superb in cream soups such as butternut squash.
  • It makes great marinades, especially for seafood – coconut milk enhanced shrimp
  • Coconut is even great in pancakes, oatmeal, and a tropical breakfast smoothie.


Coconut milk has been used for decades in the beauty industry. It is well-known as a skin softener.

  • Bubble bath – add a quarter cup to your bathwater. If that’s not enough, feel free to add a little more and enjoy.
  • Homemade face wash, add a little honey, apply it to your face, sit for 5 minutes, and rinse it off.
  • It’s also great for getting rid of acne and blemishes – add a few drops of rose water to the coconut milk. It will separate into two parts, creamy and watery, use the creamy part and gently dab on your face, and watch your acne and blemishes start to disappear. Your face will be cool and smooth.
  • Coconut milk is known to help hair grow and hydrate your hair. Wash your hair with your regular shampoo. Then, put about 1/3 cup of coconut milk in a small spray bottle and spray on your wet hair. Comb your hair and let the coconut milk work its magic. Try it for a week, and you’ll be able to notice a difference.

Health Benefits of Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is said to have numerous health benefits. Let’s look at a few below.

  • It helps you lose weight and build muscles
  • Prevents fatigue
  • Helps prevent dehydration
  • Helps with food cravings and weight loss
  • Improves digestion

What Can You Do With Leftover Coconut Milk?

If you don’t want to put it in the fridge or freeze the coconut milk or toss it, here are a few ideas of how you can use it up without wasting it.

Aside from the recipes already provided, you can add a splash of coconut milk to just about any food, from mashed potatoes to green beans.

No one likes to toss out food. It’s too expensive. Luckily coconut milk can be used for more than baking and cooking.

If you like the smell of coconut milk, add a little in a candle melt burner and let the sweet aroma fill your home.

You can make salt dough ornaments at Christmas time and switch the traditionally used cinnamon with a little coconut milk. They smell fantastic, and the scent lasts longer than cinnamon, so the following year when you hang them on the tree, they will still have a nice coconut scent.

You can make coconut milk soap, shampoo, and conditioner. Because coconut milk is creamy, your soap will produce a lot of bubbles. Just purchase a soap mold from your local craft shop.

Make coconut milk candles – you will want to use soy wax. It helps maintain the coconut milk smell better than traditional wax. You can buy candle molds or use a mason jar. These make great gifts.


Coconut milk is versatile and has several uses. If you are sensitive to dairy, coconut milk is the perfect solution. The milk also has several health benefits and is a great craft supply.

Thanks For Visiting
KitchenPerfect Logo

Recent Articles